Watching PBS shows

Jude El Buri

After I come home from a tiring day at school, I throw my tote bag onto the stairs and make my way to the living room where I plop onto the couch. I shrug out of my hoodie and quickly flip to channel six. When the cheerful theme music of “WordGirl” comes on, and I perk up immediately and start singing along. One of my biggest guilty pleasures is watching cheesy, educational PBS Kids shows.
I love hearing “WordGirl” define words like crestfallen and strenuous. I yell at the television or wait in anticipation for the outcome of the episode. I even shamelessly laugh at all the jokes the show makes.
When I’m sick, I spend my day drinking warm chicken soup and watching endless “Caillou,” “Curious George,” “Arthur,” and “Cyberchase” episodes.
One day, as I arrived home from school, I went about my daily after school routine. My six-year-old niece, who was visiting at the time, came up to me and asked me why I was watching “WordGirl.”
“Oh, I put it on for you,” I lied. She eventually got bored of the show and left to play with her cousins. I, however, continued watching.
I justify my liking of PBS kids shows with the fact that they are clean. No matter how much shows and movies aim to be a “family friendly,” they never are anymore. PBS Kids shows are the only ones that are still innocent. I feel like it’s the only type of media that doesn’t have dirty innuendos or inappropriate humor.
My other justification is that when I was a little kid, I didn’t have Disney or Nickelodeon./. I only had satellite and my parents made sure to pick only the channels they wanted so as to not pay extra for unwanted channels. So, as a kid, I was stuck watching CNN and MBC and Euronews. The only outlet I had was “The Proud Family,” “Recess,” and “That’s so Raven” on Saturday morning cartoons.
And it wasn’t until I was nearly 11 that I discovered we had a channel devoted completely to children’s programming the first half of the day. It was channel six on local television. To make up for my lost cartoon experience, I delved into “Clifford,” “Between the Lions,” and – my favorite – “Zoom.”
Now at 17, why I still enjoy PBS kids shows is beyond me. Every time I cackle at a joke, my mom rolls her eyes and says, “Really?” I nod my head and laugh even harder. Sometimes, at school the next day, I tell my friends of the jokes I heard on the show or what happened in the latest episode. Despite being called a dork, or being told that I watch the same shows as their seven year old sibling, I continue to inform them.
Watching “WordGirl” is my guilty pleasure. My friends know it, my mom knows it, I’m pretty sure my niece knows it. But there is just something so wonderful about “WordGirl” that makes me unwind from my stressful day at school and keeps me happy on the inside.
By Jude El Buri